Senate confirms Obanikoro as minister despite Ekitigate scandal

FILE PHOTO: Musiliu Obanikoro at the Lagos PDP governorship primaries rally

The Nigerian Senate on Wednesday confirmed Musiliu Obanikoro as a federal minister, appointed by President Goodluck Jonathan, brushing aside allegations that Mr. Obanikoro played a key role in election fraud in Ekiti State.

Mr. Obanikoro was named recently in a leaked tape as a principal actor in the state’s governorship election rigging in 2014, sparking national outrage.

The Nigerian government has refused to investigate the claims.

The Senate approved Mr. Obanikoro’s nomination as a minister, Wednesday, after repeated deferments, despite protests from senators from Lagos State, Mr. Obanikoro’s home state, and other opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, who had vowed to stop the clearance over the Ekiti scandal.

As a former senator himself, the Senate allowed Mr. Obanikoro to “take a bow and go”, without answering questions, a privilege reserved for former federal lawmakers.

APC lawmakers responded by walking out of the session in protest.

Details later…

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